Monday 30 August 2010

Dez Skinn, Dave Gibbons and Frank Bellamy

Used with permission of Dez Skinn

You may not know but Dez Skinn has started a website in which he recounts the early days of UK fanzines and his early publishing ventures. He is one of few people who interviewed Frank Bellamy, taking as he explains, his backup, Dave Gibbons:

Dave Gibbons and I did the interview, going up to Frank and his wife Nancy’s semi-detached three bedroom house in Kettering, Northamptonshire one Saturday morning. There were two of us so Dave could cover any “tricky” art questions which may come up.

Frank was, as ever, a genial and self-effacing host, seemingly oblivious to his standing as one of the all-time greats of British comics. As we spoke, his enthusiasm was apparent, undiminished by time, he was still able to be excited over the smallest of things. One example he scurried away to proudly show us was a letter from America. An editor at DC Comics had written, asking if Frank would consider working for them. While most historians and fans would consider this a retrograde step in his career, Frank was thrilled at the thought.

Both Archie Goodwin and Marv Wolfman corresponded with Bellamy back in the early 70s and as the Daily Mirror reported Bellamy won the Foreign Comics Award of the American' Academy of Comic Books Arts, of which Goodwin was President in June 1972.
Daily Mirror (16 June 1972), p.11
"The Victor" by Anthony Delano

"FRANK BELLAMY, who draws the Daily Mirror's Garth strip, has been given the He was the only Briton to be nominated (he lives at Malden,[sic] Surrey ), and came ahead of all other, as seen from America, foreigners.
The award covers his work over the years, including the Dan Dare strip for the boys' magazine Eagle. It also-gave a nod to one cartoon he drew in the Eagle series, Heros the Spartan. The Academy displayed it at an exhibition in New York. It shows a massive battle scene with a cast of 200" 
Dez tells the story of how he auctioned some original Bellamy pieces at the 1971 comic convention (one of which is shown in an old photo), how Bellamy drew an original as a birthday present for Dez and how Bellamy dealt with lettering problems and the restrictions in drawing Garth

Head over there and read some fascinating original material about Bellamy from Dez

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